Delight as funding boost means Cleobury Mortimer Men's Shed can finally open

The doors to a Shropshire Men's Shed organisation will finally open this year, thanks to a new funding boost.

Left to right: Jim Reynolds, Guy James (front), Keith Martin (trustee - middle back), Pete Blackburn (trustee - front) and Peter Cuthbert
Left to right: Jim Reynolds, Guy James (front), Keith Martin (trustee - middle back), Pete Blackburn (trustee - front) and Peter Cuthbert

The Cleobury Mortimer Men’s Shed have been working hard on building a shed in the town for men of all ages to meet, have a drink and chat or work on new projects.

Aiming to battle loneliness and isolation in men, the Men's Shed organisations have popped up across the country.

Now, thanks to a donation of £6,451 from Ludlow's NFU Mutual branch, the team in Cleobury Mortimer can look to finally open their doors later this year after years of work.

Pete Blackburn, chair of the Cleobury Mortimer branch, said he is once again blown away by the generosity of the local community.

"We have quite often put months of work into funding bids," he said.

"So when I had an email this week from Ludlow NFU saying they decided to choose us to allocate funds to, I couldn't believe it.

"In light of the coronavirus pandemic, NFU Mutual allocated a £2 million national fund to support local frontline charities, NFU Mutual’s Agency Giving Fund.

"The money was divided up per branch, and each branch nominates a local recipient. Our aim is to tackle loneliness and isolation and the need was there without the pandemic and now it's more necessary.

"Everyone is really over the moon about it. The amount of support from community from the start to the end has been incredible."

Most recently, Midland Quarry Products has helped the team out by donating 20 tonnes of crushed rock for them to use outside the building.

Pete said: "Then our neighbour Duncan Edwards gave us equipment to stamp the rocks down. The help from the local community has just been so encouraging.

"We have just had overwhelming support from the community throughout, from both members of the public and local businesses. This is yet another example of a Shropshire firm putting their shoulder behind getting us open."

The next project the group will be looking to complete is making a decking out of recycled plastic bottles on the south side of the shed where members can have a drink and relax.

This is in memory of one of the founding trustees, Keith Martin, who's idea it was to make it environmentally friendly, but passed away before the pandemic and before he could see it through.

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